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Comment App Store (Score 1) 332

I have been working from home for seven years now writing software and selling it to other companies. I'm really having a lot of success on the Mac App Store, bringing in a respectable salary from that alone. If you're curious about my apps just type "Rebrand Software" into the Mac App Store.

The trick is:

-Make your apps available in every language supported by the app store
-Rating is more important than price. Make your apps low price until they have 4/5 star ratings, then you can raise them slightly.

Doing this I'm selling 50-100 apps per day at $2 to $3 each. I use RealStudio (http://www.realsoftware.com) to program for Win/Mac/Linux, it's easy to learn and there are tutorials for getting your stuff on the Mac App Store. When the Windows Store launches with Windows 8 I'll be in a position to immediately put all my software on it.

Comment Sign Language (Score 1) 210

My daughter started watching Signing Time (http://www.signingtime.com) when she was 10 months old. She loved the show so we watched it once per day, for about 25 minutes per day.

By the time she was 14 months old I could take her to the zoo and she could sign Monkey, Zebra, Horse and many other signs. Here is a video of her doing exactly that: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikejenphotos/3467807751/in/set-72157604954739094

By the time she was 20 months old she had a huge vocabulary of hundreds of signs even before she could say all of the words.

Now that she is 3.5 we communicate via sign language all the time. That TV show has been influential in teaching her to spell and read by incorporating finger spelling.

Of course, I wasn't just sitting her down and leaving her there. I would watch with her (that's how I learned to sign) and incorporate real world items so that she could see that link between the signs on TV and her own things (like toys, food, etc) but that TV show was absolutely instrumental in her language skills. (It didn't hurt that she's a genius... I'm not biased...)

My second will be born in January and there is nothing that could convince me not to repeat the same process with her.

Comment Pants? (Score 1) 188

My 3.5 year old daughter Eloise is a big fan. She asks:

"Why are pants wet all the time? Why are blankets wet all the time? Why will pillows get burned in the light? That's all the words I want to make and look up in the computer."

She also says her favorite They Might Be Giants song is: Ten Bowls of Soup, because she likes it... "Woah, woah! Good thing they didn't all spill."

Comment Put it to the test (Score 2) 188

I have a non-scientific theory that you guys are atheists like me. I would like to put it to the test. I'm basing my theory on the following lines:

"A fact is just a fantasy unless it can be checked."

"I like those stories about angels, unicorns and elves."

I interpret those lyrics to mean that religion is a fantasy and angels are simply fun stories. Am I correct?

P.S. My daughter is only 3.5 but is now interested in science and I can't thank you enough for helping me to light that spark!

Comment I just made this browser for kids (Score 1) 742

I just finished this browser for kids and released it the other day. I use it with my three year old daughter so that she can use the web without encountering a lot of advertising or unapproved sites.


It still requires parental involvement but my daughter loves being able to browse and pick videos. It seems like kids are better with trackpads than with mice.

Comment Why does my accountant have me pay Use Tax? (Score 1) 377

Last year my accountant had us pay Use Tax on all our online purchases so we had to dig up all our records. I live in VA so my questions are:

1) Should I be bothering to pay Use Tax at all?
2) It is legal or enforceable by the state of Virginia?
3) Since it's interstate is it really a federal issue?
4) What if I don't "use" the purchases or I give them as gifts?

Comment Web TV Software (Score 1) 227

I made this Web TV software that essentially indexes shows from all over the world, including CBS, NBC, ABC and much more.


It works on Win/Mac (sorry, I have a Linux version in the works but right now there are playback problems). Most of the content is US/UK but much of it can be accessed from any location.

Anyway, the point is that it can't be blocked because it uses your system's default browser for playback. I don't agree with Google that it's the content provider's right to prevent playback on certain platforms: if it's free to watch online I should be able to watch it using any method I choose. But, knowing that networks can be jerks, I programmed our software to tap into the system's browsers and circumvent any potential problems.

It's no good for sitting on your couch in front of the TV but it's great for watching content on your computer. My wife and I cut our cable and disabled our two Tivos in favor of web in early 2010 after the initial release of this software and now we have $70/month to do whatever we want with. That's nearing $700 now that's in my hands, and I can't think of a single show I miss between my web TV and a netflix subscription.

Comment One of my favorite places (Score 2, Interesting) 140

I took my one year old daughter here on her first airplane trip and we had an absolute blast. I would rank this place as one of the coolest places I have ever been, and the absolute coolest museum ever. I did not encounter anything "dangerous" there that couldn't also be found on a standard playground. I'm looking forward to taking her back when she's 4 or 5 and can really enjoy it. I wish there were more places like the city museum.

Comment We are the answer. (Score 1) 1015

It's easy to know why an intelligent creature might come here in search of other intelligent life, in fact we know exactly why they would do it because it is the very same reason that we go out looking for intelligent life: curiosity. There don't need to be "resources" involved, or really any motive at all other than trying to understand our universe, how we got here, what is going to happen to us, and what other creatures share our fate.

Comment Boxee/Netflix/HDHomerun (Score 1) 304

I can't believe I'm not seeing more Boxee setups. I have had mine running great for a few months now, next month it will pay for itself.

Between Boxee's TV shows, my HD tuners recording over the air, and Netflix Streaming there isn't a single show I used to get via cable that I can't watch directly through Boxee now. In addition, there's cool stuff I've found through Boxee like EarthTouch and Revision3.

Here is the setup:

HD antenna in my upstairs bedroom, using the existing coaxial in my house to get the signal to the basement ($40)

HDHomerun network capture card ($120)

GB-PVR on a Windows machine or MythTV on Linux/Mac to record up to two shows at once (free)

1 TB networked USB drive to store recorded/burned/downloaded shows/movies ($100)

Existing windows/mac/linux box to run Boxee on (free to cheap). I found it pretty simple to hook up my Macbook Pro but am looking forward to the Boxee Box coming out soon.

If you have an iphone/touch you can use it as a networked controller for Boxee, which is cool and seems to impress people. Having pandora on the TV is also really nice. Since I'm running on the Macbook I can pick up and move it upstairs at any time, and the whole system is available from any networked computer in our house with Boxee installed. And to top it all off I can get live HD TV on any of those computers because the HD Homerun is networked!

Anyway it's ****ing awesome. : )

All this for $260 and starting next month I will be saving approximately $60/month on cable bills.

Comment Re:Just in case... (Score 1) 371

Is there any particular reason an alien species would be any nicer to other species than we are to other species?

I hope that when we reach the level of intelligence necessary to travel to other inhabited worlds we will have, in the process of obtaining that intelligence, learned that we should respect other species and do everything possible to prevent suffering in all living creatures.

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